Primary voters crowned a few rising stars and perhaps launched political careers of newcomers on Tuesday.
Michigan: 13th Congressional District
Voters in Michigan’s 13th congressional district, which includes Detroit, elected Rashida Tlaib to replace longtime Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr., who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations after serving five decades in Congress.
Tlaib won 33 percent of the vote in a field of six candidates that included Conyers’ great-nephew state Sen. Ian Conyers, who ended the night with 6 percent of the vote. With this primary win, Tlaib is poised to replace Conyers since she will run unopposed in the November general election. It would make her the first Muslim woman elected to Congress
However, none of the six candidates were declared the winner of a separate special election to finish Conyers’ term. By Wednesday morning, Tlaib, a former state lawmaker, trailed Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones 37.4 percent to 36.2 percent of the vote.
Abdul El-Sayed, a political newcomer, finished second in the Democratic primary race for governor. He won 30.5 percent of the vote compared to 51.8 percent for Gretchen Whitmer, a former Democratic leader in the state legislature.
El-Sayed, a 33-year-old progressive Democrat and former Detroit health commissioner, was supported by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive who won an upset victory in June over establishment Democrat Joseph Crowley.
Michigan: U.S. Senate
Another Black Republican could join the U.S. Senate in 2019. John James, who received President Donald Trump’s endorsement, prevailed over Sandy Pensler 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent. James, a businessman and Iraq War veteran, sparred with Pensler during their primary campaign about which of the two of them was a true conservative. The GOP’s nominee is slated to face Democratic incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November.
Missouri: 1st Congressional District
Rep. William Lacy Clay, a Democrat who was first elected to Congress in 2000 to represent the district that includes St. Louis, defeated progressive candidate Cori Bush, another political novice. The establishment Democrat topped Bush 56.7 percent to 36.9 percent.
Kansas: 3rd Congressional District
Sharice Davids, a liberal Democrat, won a six-candidate race to win the party’s nomination to compete against GOP incumbent Rep. Kevin Yonder in November, topping the field with 37.3 percent of the vote. If Davids wins in the fall, she would make history as the first Native-American woman elected to Congress, as well as the first openly LGBT person to represent Kansas.
Democrat Carl Brewer, Wichita’s first elected Black mayor, came up short in his bid to become Kansas’ first Black governor. He finished second in a five-candidate race, with 20.1 percent of the vote to Laura Kelly’s 51.5 percent.